Surgery day: Update #1

Nov 07

Current time: 11:46am

I am sitting with Greta tucked under my arm; she is watching Curious George and “typing” on an old keyboard while I type.

12:00pm: Brad and I leave for the hospital

1:00pm: Check in at registration and begin talking to the parade of hospital staff: blood draws, anesthesiology consult, nurses with gowns and questions, vitals measured, surgeon consult.

3:00-5:30pm (approximate): Surgery (video thoracoscopy) to remove the suspicious spot in my lung: 10mm x11mm in my right upper lobe.

Evening: I’ll be in Recovery then ICU.  We should get preliminary results sometime after surgery.

It’s been a good day so far.  I woke to my babies tumbling into my bed in the early hours of the morning.  While not always my favorite parenting moment, it was perfect on this special morning.  Greta, for the past 10 days, has been sleeping in Maren’s bottom bunk; their days start and finish together.  Their sisterhood is continuing to grow them closer; they are becoming best friends.  It is hard to believe Greta was in her crib two months ago–my little babe is one more step bigger.  We snuggled and turned on cartoons and talked.  I filled up Maren’s Snuggle-o-Meter up to the very tippy top so she would be ready for the next few days.  Greta wiggled and trounced.

I put Maren on the bus to school and I was so proud of her resolute strength; she probably wanted to cry, but she didn’t.  She, at six, is walking this with a measure of independence through this that Greta is too little to share.  And my Maren is doing it well.  I’m so proud of her that it actually hurts; she is strong and brave and kind.  She has her own circle rallying around her: she has shared her story — our story — with her own friends, and they too are praying.  Little six-year-old Maren friends are praying for me.  Lordy, I am blessed!

Greta and I have had a fun morning playing at the house.  We’ve been racing cars, packing purses, pushing baby strollers, and making beaded necklaces.  She delights me when she sees me from across the room and runs pell mell into my arms.  I scoop her up and swing her around and we both laugh.  We are celebrating our ordinary moments together; I am breathing in her sweetness–this time it is my Snuggle-o-Meter I am looking to fill up.  SuperGramma is here and ready to take over my house; she, unfortunately, will bear the brunt of Greta’s confusion: Where’s Mommy?  But, she’s the perfect woman for the job and we will Do Today Well.

I’ve been buoyed and shocked at the number of people who have tuned in to our story this week.  Facebook and blog comments are pummeling me with a constant barrage of well-wishes, prayers and feelings of goodness and joy.  It is humbling that so many are thinking of little old me today.  Thank you.  I am so encouraged!

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

–Psalm 91


  1. You have been in my thoughts and prayers from day one!!! You are going to conquer this too!!

  2. And here is yet another note sending you & your family well-wishes and all things good today… and beyond!!! <3 🙂

    • Mary Ann /

      Scott and I are praying for you and your family. We just know all the prayers will be answered tonight.
      Stay strong. MA

  3. Newbie friend /

    Thinking of you every minute!!! Praying constantly

  4. You rock girl! Treasure every word you write….thanks for sharing your story with me and countless others. Smooch!

  5. Thinking of you today. I’ll be watching for updates. I don’t pray, but I’m sending you stranger hugs through the universe. I hope that’s not too weird. 🙂

  6. Anne Marie /

    Sending good vibes to fill up your good-vibometer for the day!

  7. You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. Anxiously awaiting great news. Love from Georgia.

  8. Prayer Friend /

    Thank you for updating…I am Praying!!!

  9. I woke up praying for you and have been all day. I so so appreciate your authenticity and real faith as you walk this road. Praying with you.

  10. Rebecca /

    Sending you love!

  11. Nicole Quick /

    I saw your blog through a friend’s post. Your blog is so touching and brave. I am amazed by your courage. I am praying for you and your family. My Mom had cancer 10 years ago and I truly felt strength from the prayers of others. Keep your faith strong and find strength in the love that others pour out to you. Sending you the best.

  12. Lenore /

    We are praying for you in Maryland! God bless you and keep you in His loving and wonderful care!

  13. So sorry you are going through this! That being said
    Keep up your fight!!
    Prayers for a benign outcome!!

  14. Tara Homan /

    Jen – continued prayers for you my friend. I always love hearing from you and the JOY that surrounds you. You are an inspiration to so many. You are impacting lives way more than you can possibly fathom…isn’t that an AWESOME thing? Even more importantly, you are impacting the Kingdom of God and THAT, dear Jen, is inspirational. I will be in constant prayer for you today, and every day. Thank you for inspiring me to live intentional, with a purpose and to ultimately advance the kingdom. What a gift you are!!!

  15. You are an amazing woman Jen! I am praying Psalm 91 for you today.

  16. Gail Burke /

    May God’s healing hands be present for you and your family. You are in my prayers 🙂

  17. I’m praying for your surgery to go well. You are a true inspiration.

  18. Alison /

    Jen good luck today!!! I have been praying for you and your family since I read the blog!! I believe you will get the clean bill of health today!!! You will do great and recovery will be fast for you!!! Thoughts are with you today!!

  19. Praying without ceasing today for you and your family!

  20. Sending Prayers for you and your family! Love from CA.

  21. I cannot help but cry reading your brave words. My stomach is sick and depleted with emotional drain thinking of the destruction this disease has on loved ones. Please keep us posted. You are at the forefront of my every thought. Praying Jen.

  22. My sister sent me a request to pray for you yesterday evening and shared the link to your blog. I have been praying ever since. The Lord even woke me in the night to pray for you. Praying for your husband and your sweet girls, also! Love and prayers from Kentucky!

  23. Saying prayers for strength, courage, and continued peace – for you, your entire family, and your surgical team.

  24. Prayers for you! Thank you for sharing your journey of believing and healing real-time. What a way to move this world for God. Love!

  25. Tiffany Green /

    Lifting you all up in prayer today. I love reading your blog. You are so uplifting and I’m proud to call you my sister in Christ! Blessings!

  26. Praying for you and your family in this time!

  27. Sheila /

    Sending my positive thoughts and prayers of love and strength to you and all of those who hold you close!

  28. Jen, my entire roster of Facebook “peeps” is now praying for you and sending their positive energy your way. Your morning was perfect! Hopefully every single morning from this day forward will be equally so! Looking forward to the post-surgical update. 🙂

  29. Stephanie /

    Jen, I have been following your story for some time now and have never commented. Today you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I will continue to pray for you and your family for strength and healing. You are an amazing woman and mother! Love, Steph in STL

  30. Tracey /

    Praying in Chicago!

  31. Jen with two boys /

    It’s 1:34, so that means you are at the hospital getting checked in now. I will be praying for you this afternoon and eagerly awaiting an update to hear the good news this evening.

  32. Praying for you. Praying for your family. Praying for your doctors. YOU are amazing.

  33. We love you!

  34. Charity Buchanan /

    Sending many, many prayers for you, your health care team, and your family.

  35. Jana R. /

    Praying for you and your family. Our Heavenly Father will protect and comfort you!

  36. ohiofishergirl /

    Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way. Hugs, Lauri

  37. Patty Wheeler /

    Praying for you…

  38. Sharon House /

    Our thoughts and prayers are all focused your direction for the positive outcome we know is coming. You are all incredible inspirations to the rest of the world. Hugs to all of you.

  39. Jen and Brad,
    You are in our prayers and thoughts – today and going forward. I work in our Catholic High School and shared your Blog with my classes. My students are praying for you and your daughters.
    May you feel God’s loving arms wrapped around you giving you strength and comfort.

  40. Sunshine /

    Praying for you! I have 4 children, 11 and younger! Could not imagine what you are going through. However you are full of Grace and dignity! Praying continually!

  41. I saw your story on FB and I, like so many others, am praying for you and your family. You are a remarkably strong woman. I hope that that letter never has to be given to your girls. You are not only an inspiration to your girls; to your family and friends, but now, to the world. ~ Lori

  42. Michele /

    You do realize this Prayerathon is circling the globe for you & your family…and coming back around like a beautiful echo, repeating yet again! Love & Prayers, Michele & Jim

  43. Sending prayers and well wishes for you from Texas.

  44. Ann Yelle /

    Yes Jen, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” God’s Blessings….

  45. Marlayne Skeens /

    Jen ~ I am just getting home from a long day; however, most likely not as long as your Husband & Your families waiting for the outcome of today’s surgery ~ It is 6:09pm & I pray that the doctors have come out to talk w/your families & that it is good news ~ You are most likely sleeping & dreaming of your Wonderful Day w/Your Girlie Girls ~ Hugs & Prayers <3

  46. Elisa Dailey /

    Been thinking of you & praying for you all day! Love, love, love reading everything you write! It’s like poetry for my soul! Hugs!

  47. Prayed for you tonight. Your words and perspective are so beautiful. I pray for a miracle healing, for God to be present, and for healing from surgery to be quick. Your strength is awesome, and I know it’s only through Him you get it!

  48. Marlis /

    You may not remember me, but I was at the write workshop at Doe Bay, and I live on Orcas Island. I am mama to three, so most mornings I attempt to extend sleep as long as absolutely possible, but this morning, for no particular reason, I was compelled to get up at 4:am and read your blog. I am honored to read your words, and I won’t lie–there have been tears. A few years ago, after giving birth to my little girl (our third child), I had an infection that seriously threatened to take my life and kept me away from my children and in the hospital for 5 weeks, with months of in-home nursing care following. This is nothing compared to what you have been through and continue to go through, so I’m not going to say I know exactly how you’re feeling…no way. Comparison sucks anyway. However, in that time, and really ever after, my perspective was radically changed–about being a mother, about health (and lack thereof), about LIFE. I’d like to say I’ve LIVED EVERY DAY WELL ( I love that you say that) but I haven’t, not every day–still, it remains a daily aspiration to be sure. Thank you for reminding me of this once again. I will most certainly be praying for you, and if you don’t mind, I’ll be sharing your stories with other people I love, so they can do the same. Sending you love from Orcas Island. xo